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Flyers soar higher than Eagles in fast opener

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By Thomas Barr

 FRANKFORT -- The chain crew working Friday night's season opener between the North Bullitt Eagles and the homestanding Franklin County Flyers were a bit tardy.

 Unfortunately for the visiting Eagles, they showed up just in time.

Also showing up was a very potent Franklin County offense.

The team which has been ranked in the top 10 in some pre-season polls took advantage of some early North Bullitt  mistakes and easily won 54-14.

"Obviously, we didn't execute some things tonight," said Eagle head coach Brett Newton.

Facing a Flyer team with some talented offensive backs, North Bullitt fell behind early and then had trouble tackling.

With Dalton Casey at the controls, the Eagle offense started slow.

After the opening drive stalled, Franklin County took over at its own 46. Lorenzo McCaskell ran for 19 yards on the first play and Barrett Sanderson would hit McCaskill for a 24-yard pass.

However, the Eagle defense held and forced Zachary Durham to kick a 35-yard field goal.

Things didn't get much better for North Bullitt.

On its third play, Sam Anderson stepped in front of a pitch to intercept the ball. On the very next play, Chris Roberts ran right up the middle for the touchdown. Durham's conversion made it 10-0 with 6:52 left in the first quarter.

North Bullitt did convert a first down but couldn't convert a fourth-and-one. The home team took over at the Eagle 45 and took five plays before McCaskell scored fromthe 2.

Casey had a nice run but fumbled on the next possession.

Roberts would score on the first play of the second quarter from the 1.

Luck got no better for the visitors as Casey's pass bounced off Chance Egnor and was returned 34 yards by Ryan Rowe for the touchdown.

McCaskell topped off a big first half with a 50-yard touchdown on the reverse.

With a new rule this season, the running clock begins when a team falls 35 points behind. That may have been the biggest break of the night for the Eagles.

Down 38-0 at intermission, Newton said the halftime speech was pretty simple -- try to go out in the second half and win the plays that they lost in the first half.

"I was very pleased that this group didn't give up," said Newton. "We had kids who were really giving effort. Some others didn't."

After the defense shut down Flyers on their opening drive, Casey used his legs to run 70 yards for the touchdown. Logan James ran in the two-point conversion.

"We tried that play four times in the first half," said Newton."We finally executed."

A team that averaged over 50 points a game last season wasn't done.

Roberts, who stands over 6-foot-3 and carries over 250 pounds on his frame, would score once again from the 4.

A safety would be followed by another interception by Rowe for another touchdown.

The Eagles would get the final score when Tanner Threlkel handed to brother Brady Threlkel and the junior ran 27 yards up the middle for the touchdown.

"Offensively, we did some good things last week in the scrimmage," said Newton. "But we have just one starting lineman back and it will take us some time."

Brett McGlothin and Josh Exton got banged up early and slowed their play. Newton said both are important on a team that is thin on numbers.

"For the most part, we played hard," said Newton. "But we definitely have a long way to go."

Maybe the most important part of the game came after the final buzzer sounded.

The Eagle players lined up and began doing wind sprints. That's something that is often seen done by baseball teams but never football squads.

"That shows you something," said Newton.

With a lot of time to get better, the veteran coach said it will be a matter of those players who want to improve.

Assistant coach David Bohannon told the players to look at the scoreboard. If it didn't hurt on the way home, he said they might be in the wrong sport.

"We will be OK," said Newton."We ran into a very, very good football team with two talented running backs tonight. We will get better."

At the same time, Newton admitted there is a lot of work to be done this week in practice.

 

NEXT GAME: The Eagles will open the home portion of the schedule with their Preston Highway rival, the Southern Trojans. Kickoff will be at 7:30 p.m.